China plans to accelerate oil, gas and shale-oil exploration this year to meet increasing energy shortages and limit construction of certain power plants to reduce the strain on coal supplies and cut pollution.
"We need to alleviate tight supplies of coal, electricity, petroleum and transportation," Ma Kai, chairman of National Development and Reform Commission, said in his annual speech to the National People��s Congress on Sunday. ��We will accelerate major projects for liquefying coal, exploiting petroleum and natural gas and we will rationally develop hydroelectric power."
China��s economy expanded at the fastest pace in eight years last year, boosting demand for electricity as manufacturers such as Honda Motor Co. raised output. The pace at which power companies are moving to increase supply is prompting concern of surplus capacity and that environmental standards are being disregarded.
The government would accelerate construction of nuclear power plants and generators that used cleaner-burning fuels such as natural gas, wind and solar, Ma said.
China also planned to institute a pricing system that would charge different rates for power generated by different resources to promote energy conservation, Ma said.
The commission is China's top economic planning agency.